Three sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and a former MP have been cited by the British authorities for allegedly perpetrating visa fraud using their diplomatic passports.
According to a UK High Commission confidential letter sent to the speaker of Parliament but leaked to the media, the MPs had facilitated the entry of some relatives to the UK using their diplomatic passports.
Two of the serving MPs – Hon. Joseph Benhazin Dahah and Hon. Johnson Kwaku Adu, belong to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). The third, Richard Acheampong is a member of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The British High Commission considers the actions completely unacceptable. In some cases these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature.
George Boakye, a former NPP MP completed the list. According to the correspondence, as things stand now, the MPs had left their relatives to live in the UK illegally.
“The British High Commission considers the actions completely unacceptable. In some cases these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature,” the British High Commission noted.
The High Commission said it had restructured its visa application rules in view of the current development.
The Commission said that it will “will henceforth only entertain and prioritize requests for visas from MPs, if they are made through the parliamentary protocol office who should verify that there is an official, parliamentary reason for the proposed visit.”
The Parliament has opened an investigation into the complaint. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has stated that they stand to lose their Diplomatic Passports if found culpable.